Investors cannot buy or sell the VIX itself: they can only trade instruments that track the index. There are several options available for trading on the “ fear gauge”.
Two of these options are the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (VXZ).
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Contracts ETN (VXX)
One of the most straightforward ways to do this is by trading the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Future ETN (VXX). This product offers volatility risk that has a really impressive average volume of around 36.7 million stocks per day.
Investors are exposed to a rolling long position each day on the first and second-month futures contracts of the VIX. Thus, when market uncertainty and volatility increase, the value of the VIX increases.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Mittelfristige Futures ETN (VXZ)
The iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN (VXZ) tracks the S&P 500 VIX Medium-Term Futures Total Return Index.VXZ has taken long positions in VIX futures for the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh months, traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Additionally, the futures on shorter-dated contracts are continuously rolled over to long-dated contracts throughout the month.